The Science of Birds

In school, I was never any good at science. All those experiments to unlock the mysteries of the universe seemed too much like work to me. It was a whole lot easier to unlock my imagination and just make up an answer.

Here’ an example: “How does electricity work?” Answer: The wires running to your house are actually hollow tubes filled with tiny energy gnats. These guys work for practically nothing, so the power company makes a healthy profit. Occasionally, the gnats go on strike (power outage) for higher wages, benefits, etc., and our rates go up. And that, boys and girls, is how electricity works.

If you are new to Friday Flash Fiction, the leader of the Gnat Pack of 100-word authors is Minah Birdbreath Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to join the Gnat Pack Union, fly over to her blog and complete the necessary paperwork. To rent a box in the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

Copyright – Douglas MacIlroy


“Here’s an interesting article.” Jan flexed the newspaper. “Remember a couple of years ago when all those birds were falling out of the sky?”

“Yes, I remember,” said Shelly. “Some of the birds were purple martins. It broke my heart.” She sniffed back a tear.

“Well, our wonderful government wasted ten million dollars of taxpayer money on a study to determine the gender of the dead birds. I could’ve told them how to do that for nothing.”

“Oh really? And how do you tell their sex, by the coloring?”

“No. It’s easy. The females always have their mouths open.”


87 Comments on “The Science of Birds

  1. Dear Hekyll,

    I know things have been rough for you since Jekyll stopped flying by. As we all know a purple martin is a terrible thing to waste. Crows however are best baked in a pie and served cold. So let the games begin. In the immortal words of Tweety Bird, “Ththththththththththththththt!”

    Shalom and Chirp!

    Mynah Birdbreath W(T)F

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Mynah Birdbreath W(T)F

      There must be a scarecrow in the FFF cornfield that keeps Jekyll away. I do know he’s been working on a book of his blogging adventures. Enjoyed the roast this morning. Thanks for much for featuring me and Connie.

      Caw, caw,
      Big Bird

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Russell, have you retired? I received a notice that your email address was inactive. I would like to have your new address. Also, how are you doing after your surgery?

    Larry Holt


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh dear. As much as I despair when one of these pointless scientific studies is on the news, I hope it is more accurate than his method. Killing off the public birds though, that’s a cruel blow – it’s personal now!

    Liked by 3 people

    • These birds reportedly just fell from the sky. There were 2 or 3 incidents that same summer and different locations. Some sources blamed aliens, others said climate change. Maybe it was an experiment with chemical weapons. Who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Alrighty then!
    Who’s taking wagers on how far this goes?
    You and Shelly are a hoot and a half… Do Myna’s hoot? Probably…
    As for your electricity story… face slap!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I now have a good image of you as a boy in school, and I can’t help but think you were a handful for your teachers. I imagine them trying to stifle their laugh so as not to encourage your behavior. Haha I am a bit skeptical about the gender identification strategy though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I was one of those boys who got away with a lot more than I just in trouble for. I can be quite a suck-up and charmer.

      I’m a little surprise Jan has dropped in and left a comment. Perhaps he’s trying to stay in good graces with the boss as well.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Perry is busy editing the World’s Greatest Book. I hear it’s going to be a New York Times non-seller. I’ve promised to buy a copy. I suspect he’ll charge me $1 for the book and $25 to sign it.


  6. Excellent story, Russell, although clearly not fiction.
    There is an old Scots saying ‘Mony a mickle maks a muckle’.
    Just thought I’d let you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, C.E., it’s not fiction. Thanks for sharing the old Scots wisdom. I’ll keep that one in my back pocket for future use.


  7. Well now, I haven’t responded due to my astute political positioning. OK, maybe not. The big HAAWK may have had a point or two concerning identifying the sex. . Just saying. However, point taken on the remote also. See what I’m doing here. Now I’m quitting…..for now. P.S., I love these stories on Hysterical Fiction genre.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Haha! Oh my, I think you’re definitely on the hit list for assorted feminist groups. If any female ninja assassins come after you just hold up a bra. Apparently, it takes away all their powers. 😉 Fun story!


  9. I expect most of your teachers didn’t like your approach to learning, but there were some that absolutely loved you.
    Great story this week, although I think you might be right to watch out for the feminists. Maybe the government could have investigated why they fell out of the sky in the first place? Or is that just being too boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Other than Mrs. Sticklebottom, I had a great relationship with most of my teachers. And I actually learned something from a few of them.

      As far as I know, they never pinpointed the exact cause of death on the birds. It was a crazy incident and happened twice in the same month. To my knowledge it had never happened before and has yet to happen since–although it’s only been about two years since the strange events occurred.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Was it just her name that caused the problem with Mrs. Sticklebottom?
        Do you have to go around with a reinforced umbrella just in case the birds fall again? Maybe the cause was the same as the one for ‘raining cats and dogs’?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mrs. Sticklebottom called in sick the day the Good Lord was handing out “sense of humor.” She was strictly business and the no-nonsense type. I doubt the poor woman ever had a day of fun in her life. Sad for her.

        From what I understand, the raining cats & dogs events were caused by tornados or hurricanes. There were no major weather events when the birds fell. Probably just a U.S. Military experiment gone awry.


  10. Hmmm risky and cheeky! The voice of this fiction sounds like a know-it-all male who clearly doesn’t know anything 🙂 The feminists would just nod and smile move on to more serious issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You may ask Jan if Shelly will just let it pass. I think he knows better when it comes to the battle of the smart asses. 😉 BTW, my dad used to say that a smart ass is someone who can sit on an ice cream cone and tell you the flavor. There’s your thought for the day. My work here is done.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We’d like to give you the SNS’s Random Sciencer of the Month Award for October.

    It’s clear you have you finger on the scientific pulse and know of no physical boundaries between yourself and objective ultimate truth. Keep up the good science!

    SNS is Scientists Now Say…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: The Science of birds. – L.F. McCabe – Author

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. When I first started blogging, I was lucky to have one or two readers. Then I started participating in Friday Flash Fiction. There are a lot of groups out there who write flash posts based on photos or other prompts. Find one that suits you and jump in. The key to building an audience is reading and commenting on others work. Don’t expect instant success. For most bloggers it’s a slow process, but the good news is you meet a lot of wonderful people on the journey.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I think what most people fail to consider is that we’re in it for the long haul. I’ve met a who bloggers who hit 500 followers in 3 months, but they are an exception not the rule.


      • That is exactly the advice I was looking for. Flash fiction? That sounds like a wonderful idea. Thank you very much and happy blogging 🙂


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